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Ending Slavery: How We Free Today's Slaves 1st Edition

49 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0520254701
ISBN-10: 0520254708
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Bales (Understanding Global Slavery) provides a guide for eliminating the plague of slavery that continues to this day, involving some 27 million slaves worldwide producing $13 billion in goods and services. Bales provides a thorough overview of slavery, including its history, its methods, the lives of its victims around the world and the conditions under which it flourishes (modern slaves "are cheap, and they are disposable"); most importantly, Bales has put together guides to action at every level, from the individual to the community to the United Nations, in a six-point plan that includes protecting, arming and cloning "the liberators," enacting and enforcing effective antislavery legislation and, perhaps most important (and overlooked), helping freed slaves heal ("liberation is just the first step on a long road"). Alongside those goals, Bales also considers practical matters, including fundraising, increasing awareness among the general public and convincing governments to pay attention: though "all political leaders denounce slavery," its numbers are still up, "perpetrators go uncaught... and the minimal resources needed to rehabilitate freed slaves are not available." Shocking, saddening, angering and inspiring, this volume reveals in full a side of the global market many Americans simply do not know about, clueing readers in on "the extent of their own involvement in global slavery," and the unthinkable injustices that could be taking place even in their local communities.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From the Inside Flap

"None of us is truly free while others remain enslaved. The continuing existence of slavery is one of the greatest tragedies facing our global humanity. Today we finally have the means and increasingly the conviction to end this scourge and to bring millions of slaves to freedom. Read Kevin Bales's practical and inspiring book, and you will discover how our world can be free at last."—Desmond Tutu

"Ever since the Emancipation Proclamation, Americans have congratulated themselves on ending slavery once and for all. But did we? Kevin Bales is a powerful and effective voice in pointing out the appalling degree to which servitude, forced labor and outright slavery still exist in today's world, even here. This book is a valuable primer on the persistence of these evils, their intricate links to poverty, corruption and globalization—and what we can do to combat them. He's a modern-day William Lloyd Garrison."—Adam Hochschild, author of Bury the Chains: Prophets and Rebels in the Fight to Free an Empire's Slaves

"I know modern slavery from the inside, and since coming to freedom I am committed to end it forever. This book shows us how to make a world where no more childhoods will be stolen and sold as mine was."—Given Kachepa, former U.S. slave, recipient of the Yoshiyama Award

"Kevin Bales does not just pontificate from behind a desk. From the charcoal pits of Brazil to the brothels of Thailand, he has seen the victims of modern day slavery. In Ending Slavery, Bales gives us an update on what's happening (and not happening), and a controversial plan to abolish slavery in the 21st century. This is a must read for anyone who wants to learn about the great human rights issue of our times."—Ambassador John Miller, former director of the U.S. State Department's Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 274 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press; 1 edition (September 28, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520254708
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520254701
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.3 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,413,191 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Going undercover to meet slaves and slaveholders, Kevin Bales exposed how modern slavery penetrates the global economy and flows into the things we buy, he is a leading abolitionist in the last great anti-slavery movement. Bales exposed how modern slavery penetrates the global economy in his Pulitzer-nominated book, Disposable People: New Slavery in the Global Economy. The film based on this book, Slavery: A Global Investigation (TrueVision), which he co-wrote for HBO and Channel 4, won a Peabody Award and two Emmys. His book also inspired a project undertaken by seven Magnum photographers, which he helped to design and write, entitled Documenting Disposable People: Contemporary Global Slavery, which was mounted as a touring exhibition and published as a book by Hayward. Scientific American published his findings as a 9-page fully illustrated feature story. Bales was named as the originator of one of "100 World-Changing Discoveries" by the Association of British Universities and as a "visionary who is changing your world" by Utne Reader. Disposable People went on to publication in ten other languages and won the Premio Viareggio for the Italian edition.

In 2001 he co-founded Free the Slaves, the American sister-organization of the UK's Anti-Slavery International, the world's oldest human rights group. In ten years it has helped to liberate thousands of slaves in India, Nepal, Haiti, Ghana, Brazil, Ivory Coast, and Bangladesh, and work with them to build new lives of dignity. After reading Bales' book Ending Slavery, President Clinton told the plenary of the Clinton Global Initiative: "It tells you that it is a problem we can solve and here's how to do it." Ending Slavery won the 2011 $100,000 Grawemeyer Award for Ideas Promoting World Order. In 2008, with Zoe Trodd, he published To Plead Our Own Cause: Personal Stories by Today's Slaves. In 2009, with Ron Soodalter, he published The Slave Next Door: Human Trafficking and Slavery in America Today, an expose and plan to make America slave-free for the first time in its history. He is currently writing a book on the relationship between slavery and environmental destruction, and with Jody Sarich a book on forced marriage. He gained his Ph.D. at the London School of Economics.

Hi lives in Brighton, England.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Kyra_Athena on January 31, 2008
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This book is a poignant call for action. Most Americans have no idea where the products they purchase come from or at least who is making the products. Kevin Bales delivers a current status on enslavement. Slavery may have officially stopped in the United States with the Emancipation Proclamation. In search of cheap labor, companies went abroad. Some of the personal stories were so sad that I really cried, out of sadness for the people for their painful and ruined lives and wondering how much I as an American consumer had contributed to their misery. Bales offers a solution which begins with Americans recognizing the problem and the lobbying for change. Americans can impact this problem directly by not buying slave-produced products and campaigning against it through Congress. This is not a light read.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Balbach on January 29, 2008
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Kevin Bales is a recognized world authority on the generally hidden phenomenon of modern slavery; he best known for Disposable People (1999), a standard and influential text in classrooms and with policy makers. Ending Slavery (2007) is his latest book which reveals updated information and additional heartbreaking stories, balanced by optimistic practical solutions for the audacious goal of ending slavery around the world. Either one of these books would be an excellent place to start learning about modern slavery for the average reader. While slavery can be a depressing subject, Ending Slavery is ultimately uplifting because of its success stories, of solutions working, of the world becoming a better place and ways to keep the momentum going. By the end of the book there is a practical plan of what to do next for everyone from the concerned citizen, community leader, governments and NGO.

Modern slavery is largely hidden from view because, unlike in the 19th century and earlier, slavery today is illegal everywhere and- like drugs- the problem has gone underground. There are an estimated 27 million slaves in the world today - by comparison in the entire 350 year history of the African slave trade, about 13 million slaves were brought to the New World.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By J. Bowe on October 28, 2007
Format: Hardcover
As an author who has also written about slavery, I can say that Bales' many years' experience with the subject are apparent on every page. Avoiding sensationalism or unhelpful despair, Ending Slavery is an expert and pragmatic guide for all of us, rich and poor, interested in advancing the cause of human rights and general happiness.

We do not address problems of global poverty and slavery with our sympathy or pity. Bales' ability to articulate concrete, positive steps is invaluable.

This book goes far beyond its issue. By addressing the tangible, achieveable mechanisms by which we address the roots and causes of slavery, Bales also manages to shine a light toward ways we can help smooth the iniquities and anti-democratic tendencies resulting from the current mania for "globalization."

Ending Slavery is not luxury reading, a do-gooder tome for those of us with the leisure to care about poor foreigners in unimaginable situations. It's a technical manual for how we in the First World can save ourselves. As Bales has previously written (I hope I get this quote right), "slave labor anywhere threatens free labor everywhere." Slavery in a globalized world is not only wrong, but dangerous.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Lynn Ellingwood VINE VOICE on February 23, 2008
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is a great follow up to Disposable People and is even better. The author doesn't only describe slavery and how it is found in the 21st century but provides great solutions to the problem. More harrowing, was how he described the ending of slavery in Nepal which ended up being a humanitarian disaster for the people who were freed. Kevin Bales learns from this experience and tries to create a better way of ending slavery. It would be very interesting if all could be carried out. I highly recommend reading this book to find out the author's position. It is definitely the best book I've read so far through the Amazon Vine program.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By M. A. Filippelli VINE VOICE on January 30, 2008
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Ending slavery,

This is a very interesting read. Bales talks about slavery today through the eyes of recent slaves. There are so many amazing horrific and sad stories. You read about slavery in history class and how it ended in 1865. There is slavery even today in the United States. Bales talks about how potential slaves are tricked into slavery with the promise of education and a better life and education only to be enslaved without pay, they are taken from their families never to be seen again, moved continents away from their families. Once in the United States they are mistreated, they are beaten into submission. Society takes advantage of the impoverished people who don't necessarily understand the true intentions of those attempting to enslave them.

Bales talks about slavery through out the ages, their treatment, how they are bought, sold and discarded. Stopping the subculture and trade mechanism that supports and even thrives off the the slavery market. Bales covers the social and economic impact for buying and selling slaves through out time and how it has changed. There many interesting common denominators that have remained consistent throught time.

Bales talks about the problem of ending slavery on a global basis and how to do it. His ideas seem plausible and credible. Ending slavery would be a difficult task because the issues crosses many physical borders, social and economic barriers. Slavery has to end.

This was a very interesting and eye opening read for me. I highly recommend this book. In many ways it opened my consciousness about this problem.
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